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Home Backyard Bird Guide America's Top Backyard Birds America's Top Backyard Birds - Eastern North America Purple Finch
Purple Finch

Bird Food Preferences

Black-oil sunflower, Nyjer®, safflower, and sunflower hearts

Bird Feeder Preferences

Tube, hopper, and platform

Plants to Attract

Woody Plants: Ash, beech, blackberry, black birch, buck bush, cocklebur, coralberry, cotoneaster, crab
apple, dogwood, elm, firethorn, grape, juneberry, juniper, hackberry, honeysuckle, hophornbeam, hornbeam, maple, mountain ash, serviceberry, silverleaf, sweet gum, raspberry, red cedar, sumac, sycamore, and tulip tree; Non-woody Plants: Chickweed, goosefoot, pigweed, ragweed, strawberry, and wild radish


Purple Finches can be found year-round in the northeast United States, along the west coast of North America, and in southern Canada.  In the winter, the Purple Finch can be found in the southern states as well.  During the breeding season, they reside primarily in coniferous forests; however, during the winter season, Purple Finches can be found in mixed forests, suburban and urban areas, weedy fields, and hedgerows.

Purple Finches range from five to six inches in length and weigh between half and one ounce.  Male Purple Finches have raspberry red heads, chests, and backs.  The female Purple Finch is primarily brown with a distinct white eyebrow and mustache.  Overall, Purple Finches tend to be stockier than House Finches with a shorter notched tail and larger head.

The female Purple Finch does most of the work when creating the nest, which takes about three to eight days.  The nest is lined with grass and animal hair and the base is made of twigs, sticks, and roots.

Similar Species

Cassin's Finch and House Finch


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